Named Anew

Named Anew

 

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Hada in Sanskrit

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Taken from:

The Autobiographical Account of
     “Man Becoming Elephant”

Almost 4o years ago, as an undergraduate student of art at San Jose State Collage, San Jose, California, I was given the following assignment:

  • Create a drawing instrument by taping an extruded piece of pure silver wire , with one end slightly protruding, alongside of a short, pencil length, stick.
     
  • Prepare a board by building up a smooth, fine-toothed, finish of pure white gesso. Be careful to sand between coats.
     
  • Then, using the drawing instrument as one would use a fine lead pencil, precisely draw onto the gessoed board some extremely detailed aspect of nature.

I Immaculately prepared the above and drove off to a distant rural park with a blanket and some lunch.

While walking through the woods looking for some aspect of nature to catch my eye, I found myself entering into a recently mowed clearing. Off to one side of the space, I noticed a beautiful full-grown male lion basking in the sun. He was laying on a shiny stainless-steel shelf within a small cage made of the type of fencing material one finds surrounding urban playgrounds.

I walked right up to the chain-link fence and bravely stuck my fingers into the cage. The lion gave me a glance, then being not at all impressed, he relaxed into a very uninteresting, flattened-out, lump of laziness.

In an attempt to liven him up, I carefully grabbed my blanket at the two corners of one end and then, with an upward jerk, I whipped it out flat against the cage. It remained vertically suspended for a moment… then just as it was about to fall, I yanked it back.

The lion was completely caught by surprise. He jumped straight into the air with all fours, looking as light and as agile as a house cat. Before he alighted, his eyes found mine. But he was still being governed by his involuntary reflex action and immediately upon touching down; he dove blindly backwards in a feudal attempt to escape. Overestimating the size of the cage, he crashed into the fencing, slid off the shelf and tumbled down onto the floor, creating an awkward clump of fur and muscle in its corner.

Since he had never taken his eyes off me, he was very quick at sizing up the situation and without any reservation what-so-ever, he roared— dispelling all notions of my authority—and catapulted himself directly at me.

Suddenly the table was turned. I immediately lost all previous notions of my reality. With eyes glued to his leap, I found myself blindly retreating in a feudal attempt to escape. Totally misjudging the slope of the ground, I lost my footing and fell backwards just as the lion crashed against the fence. The chain-linked, galvanized wire fence stretched in tension as whiskers, claws and fowl breath penetrated into my space. But the great muscular hulk, of this frightening aspect of dynamic nature, was still confined within its cage.

I quickly regained my composure, stood up, and thanked God for engineering. As I looked around, hoping that no one saw my clumsy retreat, I started a self conscious laugh which soon developed into a whole hearted roar of relief.

Looking back at the lion, I was surprised he was not laughing with me. Instead, he had dropped into a sitting position and was dead serious. He was following my eyes and when I focused into his, a cold chill spread throughout my body. I thanked God again and spread out my blanket within inches of his cage.

For the next several hours, the lion and I intensely studied each other from an intimate distance of about one to two feet (thirty to sixty centimeters). As I looked down to draw, his eyes and head would follow; as I looked up , he would raise his head and look me straight in the eye.

I studied and drew his powerful surface with silver on a brilliant white board, while he studied and drew himself into—and symbolically as—my frightened interior.

A couple of weeks after my intense encounter with the lion, I had the first of a series of five, very special, dreams that marked specific turning points in my life as an artist. The forth of which, I was Named Anew.

 

The 1st Dream...

I was walking, with my first wife Jackie, across an open field of tall dry grass. We were having a sweet time… then my wife disappeared and I felt very much alone.

I noticed a slight movement in the grass somewhat ahead and to the right of me. I altered the direction of my walk, so I could take a look.

Soon I saw what appeared to be a hole in the thick carpet of grass. It was as though something had matted it down. I was not yet close enough to see the bottom of the depression, so I continued on as silently as possible. I had the felling that whatever it was that had moved, and caught my eye, had also displaced the grass and was probably still there.

Closer now, I could barely discern, through the thick grassy curtain, a form that appeared to be slowly awaking. It was moving from a curled up position of fur and straw. I continued to slowly divide the grass with my forward movements until I finally reached the edge of the fluffy creature’s bed. It was much larger than I thought and I became a little apprehensive. Even thought it appeared to be still half asleep and not at all concerned, I thought it would be wise to take my leave…

The creature then turned its head and suddenly I found myself looking into the intense eyes of a full-grown male lion.

Instantly my mind and body became acutely still… Then my peripheral vision picked up a movement off to my side and my heart started beating out of my chest. His mate was charging directly at me from the opposite end of the field.

Turning my full attention toward her, I was terrified by the beauty and intensity of her speed. Her shoulder blades gracefully rose and fell with each sequential lunge as she quickly closed the gap between her body and her intention. I felt as though her eyes had already reached me.

All of a sudden, thing were happening to fast. I was on the verge of panicking. The large, now fully aroused male had risen into an aggressive stance and was snarling with an incredible display of incisors. Without taking time to check, I also found myself imagining, or sensing, a black panther behind me in a tree, making final adjustments to its footing prior to hurling itself down upon me.

Suddenly two trees appeared before me.

One was old and had no bark. Its smooth, polished trunk was about eight inches (twenty centimeters) in diameter and appeared very strong. If I could shimmy up this tree, the lions might not be able to follow and I would be safe in the branches high above. But I did not feel confident in climbing this tree. I felt I might slip and fall and then be consumed by the lions.

The other tree was young and soft with bark. Many branches protruded from its trunk. I could climb it as easily as climbing up a ladder. But the lions could also climb this tree and even though I would be able climb much quicker, it would only be a matter of time before one reached me. But I needed time, so I quickly climbed as high as I could up the younger tree.

Surprising the lions did not follow, instead they took turns trying to jump up and onto the branch I was standing on with one of their paws. Now and then the large male would succeed and pull up his great mass fangs within inches of me and then at the last moment, he would fall and repeat the process over and over again.

Go to 2nd dream.

Finally, I awoke.

I was now in the bigger dream—the waking state. The dream that does not go away until death—unless, by grace, you wake up within it…

I had not yet graduated from college and already was having professional success. My work was showing in a gallery in San Francisco and I had won a couple of regional awards. But I was not satisfied with what was happening in my life.

Even though I was receiving acclaim, I knew my work was week. I knew it was just some unique, nice stuff. I knew it lacked profundity. Just like in the dream, I was temporarily safe—temporarily successful. My early success had been built on surface values and even though it charmed the moment, I knew it would not be long lasting.

The surface is very fickle and easily charmed. It too searches for profundity, but because its search is not very conscious, its behavior is more naïve than innocent, more random than decisive.

I was seeing through the surface and my dream had reflected my present position. I knew I must attempt to climb the ancient tree. Even if I fell and was devoured, it would at least be a warrior’s death. Otherwise, I could surly die without actually living.

Needless to say, I chose the life and path of a warrior.

So a couple of years went by and I found myself working towards a Master’s in Fine Arts degree at the University of Iowa.

As part of my curriculum, I enrolled into a beginning, undergraduate, ceramic class and became obsessed with throwing pots on the wheel. I began spending eight hours a day kicking a large weighted flywheel connected by a shaft to a round metal platform on which I fastened a large lump of clay. As the centered lump of clay spun, I would fashion cups off its top.

Rarely would I save what I had done. I would finish a cup, cut it off the wheel, put a handle on it… and then, after studying the piece for a moment or two, I would almost always throw it against the wall.

A graduate assistant who became very intrigued with my creative/destructive approach ran the class. He was a very accomplished technician, but his work was dead—it lacked life. He would often study my wall of rejects and we would talk.

Then one auspicious night I had the second dream.

 

The 2nd Dream...

 I was again walking across an open field of dry grass. But this time to my right , about twenty paces away, was a cliff. It was as if the field had stopped, stepped up, and then continued on a new level. The grass was much shorter on the higher plateau and I noticed something moving upon it.

Whatever it was, would move towards one side of the plateau for a while… then turning abruptly, it would divide into two, and then reunite and move towards the opposite side of the plateau… after a while, it would again abruptly turn, divide into two, then reunite and move towards the other direction… it repeated this cycle over and over again as it steadily worked its way closer and closer towards me.

Soon I realized the object(s) that kept dividing and reuniting were a pair of ears that appeared as one in profile and two as the underlying head and body rotated to a temporary head-on position before going in the opposite direction which again showed itself in profile. As the ears worked their way toward me more of their underlying structure was being exposed above the cliff. It wasn’t long before I realized I was watching the pacing movements of a lioness… as she patiently awaited my approach.

Immediately upon my recognition, she charged to the edge of the cliff and roared a series of fierce warnings. I became absolutely still, hoping to pacify her, but she persisted in continually express her forcefull commands.

Then I noticed she was not looking directly at me, but over my shoulder. I relaxed somewhat just as she started to calm down a bit and it wasn’t too long before she became completely silent. I assumed that whatever had agitated her and left of remove its threat.

Quite casually, the lioness then turn her attention towards me and looked me straight in the eye. We stared eye to eye for a few moments and then, as if she had accepted or tolerated my presents, she just wondered off…

Strangely, the dream started all over again.

This time, knowing I was in a dream, I carefully witnessed its unfoldment and when the lioness casually turned her attention towards me and looked me straight in the eye, I smiled and tried to communicate to her that I was relaxed and worthy.

Go to 3nd dream.

Upon awakening… I knew that it was the graduate assistant who was behind me in the dream. He was trying to follow me, but had not yet qualified. Through him I was shown that I had reached a level of aptitude that was now acceptable to the lions.

I now was tolerated… maybe, someday, the lions would ask me to come and join them in a kill. My imagination was thrilled with a charge of possibilities.

I had been in Iowa less than a semester and even though I loved the heated intensity of the ceramic studio and working on encaustic (wax) paintings in the evenings in a strange log house built by an eccentric Iowan landlord, I felt very much alone and not part of the University.

Then one day everybody in the ceramic laboratory excitingly became alive. Peter Voulkos, a much-acclaimed international renown ceramist, who tought at the University of California at Berkeley, was coming. Soon we were to be blessed with a three-day workshop.

My spontaneous response was, “Did I come all the way here to Iowa… to get all excited about somebody coming here from California? If I were home, I could easily rent a studio right next to him and see him every day.

I decided to leave the Iowa scene and return to California and pursue a Master’s of Art at San Jose State College. As it turned out, the workshop was delayed and I missed the whole thing.
____________________

My graduate work at San Jose State, not only went well, but was also well received. Before I knew it, I had enjoyed a one man show in a top gallery in San Francisco, had graduated, and was recruited into the Design Department of the College of Environmental Design at the University of California, Berkeley.

Ironically, Peter Voulkos also taught in that very same department and I ended up renting a studio right next to his along side of the railroad tracks just north west of Berkeley. Our studios were part of a whole complex of studios that were all interlinked by passages and hallways, and as time went by, he became my mentor.

Shortly after accepting the position at the University of California, I again saw that my work was running short of my primary desire. I knew it was still just some unique, nice stuff—it still lacked profundity.

It was then that I conceived my most acclaimed work entitled “My First Car”—a project that saw me through most of my seven years at UC Berkeley.

One afternoon, while working on the all but completed “Master Chassis”—the first piece in the series of four, that made up the body of work entitled “My First Car”—a young, well known artist from Los Angeles named Larry Bell poked his head into my studio and said, “Can I get to Pete Voulkos’ studio through here?”

Passing through my space he could not help but notice the “Master Chassis” sitting upon a large white formica platform, dramatically lit with spotlights.

He stopped and thoughtfully lingered in front of the chassis for quite some time before introducing himself. By his reaction, it was obvious he had not known of the existence of this piece. It was also obvious that he was very intrigued, yet he remained silent. Being somewhat shy, I gave him directions to Pete’s studio which was a queue for his departure and went back to work

An hour or two later, I found myself coming up with an excuse to go see Pete.

It turned out Pete was in the middle of an intense telephone conversation, so in order to give him some privacy, I stepped into his living space and found Larry crashed on an old stuffed couch watching television. Larry seemed delighted with my entrance. He immediately sat up, turned off the TV and commanded that I come, sit down and join him…

 

The 3rd Dream...

We started to talk, but right from the start I found I could not stay focused on what Larry was saying. He seamed to be acting in a strange or unusual way. In a very positive sense, I felt he was luring me in… I would nod now and then to let him know I was still with him, but I found myself slipping out of our shared reality and into the realization that I was witnessing the unfoldment of the third dream!

I had not given my lion dreams a thought for years and then, totally out of the blue, I could not clear my mind of the notion that I was right now, in the middle of the day, in the waking state, having my greatly desired third dream. I could not shake the feeling that this young lion of the art world was asking me to come and share a kill. In what I now consider was a heightened state of perception, I literally perceived him offering me a piece of the action. In a very super-real sense, through this strange surrealistic initiation, I was being accepted as one of the lions of the art world. Yet, simultaneously, on the duller insignificant side of my perception, I must say, I was just having a nice conversation and Larry was just being especially friendly.

Go to 4th dream.

I cannot recollect how long this strange conversation went on, but finally Pete walked in and everything went back to normal.

Pete poured us some killer coffee that I could never stomach and after a couple of sips, I found myself affectionately saying, “Good bye Larry, nice meeting you... See ya, Pete,’ and went back to my work in my studio.

I’m always amazed at how things are presented to me.

Of course, I accepted the honored position presented to me by the young lion… I completed “My First Car”… I had my moment of glory.

Eighteen years then passed.

I had quit teaching, remarried, left the exoteric world and was in the process of rediscovering the primordial roots of my existence. Looking back I saw that my work still ran short of my primary desire. I saw that it still lacked profundity. I instinctively knew it was time to throw some unique, nice old stuff against the wall.

I have come to the basic understanding. I feel it is extremely important that the artist looks at the process of doing art as destructive as well as a creative act. If the artist does not understand the need to destroy, he/she may obtain the distinction of being considered a great technician or craftsman, but I seriously feel, the artist will never attain the status of a Great Artist. That is, an Artist spelled with a capitol “A’. (Later, I wrote a paper that went deeper into this subject, and created the word AR<T or AR<TIST to take the place of saying Art or Artist with a capitol “A”.)

There is a difference between the two.

The former is the art of doing something, like a painting or sculpture etc., within our paradigm in a most credible way. But the latter, Art spelled with a capitol “A” (AR<T), is doing something not only credibly well, but something that is totally incredible. In other words, the doing and displaying of… SOMETHING PROFOUND!

Creation is the natural flow of things. It cannot be stopped or postponed. Its power is beyond our control. But we do have ways of impending this power in our conscious reality. We tend to create fixed notions of things—we create paradigms.

Before one can legitimately create, one must first be willing to abandon what we have created!

In reality, at this stage of our conscious development, we only have the benefic power to remove or destroy that which was not really there in the first place, so we may be open to a level of truth our developing nerves systems can now perceive… or the malefic power, through the mistake of our intellect, to continue to create illusions that overshadow the truth of the developing moment.

The creative process then, by my definition, must include the sequential abandonment of the mistakes of our intellect that will then reveal a clearer vision of the underlying truth. A process that is very destructive to impedance and the inert, but very enlightening to progress and the living.

So on November 6, 1987, I abandon my previous notion of self and “My Fist Car” hit the wall. Thus ending a very large cycle—the kind that takes lifetimes to complete. And in turn, I found myself tantalized with an even greater notion of what I considered my self to be.

Being now, totally dedicated to the step by step unfoldment of this new yet very ancient notion of self, it would only be a matter of time before this developing awareness of self would openly express itself as a work of Ar<t.

Sixteen months later, I perceived/conceived the conceptual work of Art “Heaven’s Stepping Stones.”

My heart’s desire was to present this project to my master, His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. I strongly felt that “Heaven’s Stepping Stones” definitely qualified for the power inherent in his blessing. In an attempt to fulfill this desire, I wrote a series of letters to the president of Maharishi International University.

What was made clear to me through the process of writing these letters, was that my life mainly consisted of a series of carfully designed test—each, in turn, guarded an important threshold or gate.

Having my work presented to Maharishiji, in itself, meant passing through such a gate and that meant I must first qualify by passing a test…

But we never seem to realize what part of our life is the test until we’ve passed it. Then ultimately, one day, we will finally come to the conclusion that all of life is nothing but a test and we finally give way to the process—we will finally surrender to the will of God. That ultimate decision will immediately open up a whole string of gates and put us on the fast track to higher thresholds of happiness and bliss.

I realize that Maharishiji himself represents such a threshold and to become truly enlightened, I would have to pass even through him and go beyond him. I remember the simple words of Jesus of Nazzeras, who, I feel, spoke to such a concept when he said, “You shall do greater works than I.”

At this point, I suddenly realized, I was not yet finished with the lion dreams. I realized, that some day, I would go beyond the lion and leave the overwhelming threshold of fear far behind. What a glorious day that would be!

Then one night, almost a year later, I had the forth dream…

 

The 4th Dream...

I found myself running with a pack of thief’s through the streets of a large city. I didn’t feel like a thief. I felt more like a innocent witness who became enchanted by their flow and was inadvertently drawn into their pack.

Their leader or master had called them back. Their rush was a returning home. It was as if each and every shadow had spewed up a thief. Like a great school of fish, we flooded down alleys and around corners until our flow ultimately poured into a large cavernous opening in an immense brick warehouse.

I was one of the last and as I was about to enter, I became aware of a magnificent bull that stood guard at the entrance. I hesitated, and then did not enter, I was to intrigued with my lack of fear of this incredible bull. He was huge and awesome. He was snorting and hooking his enormous horns up and down, left and right, and his hoofs were pawing the ground. Yet I felt he was more like an animated painting on transparent film than a real threat and if I wished, I could just peel him out of the way.

I was amazed at my fearlessness. I felt to test this fearlessness. I asked myself, “What am I afraid of?” Immediately I thought of a lion and this lion could not be peeled away! Deep in my gut I could feel the beginning of intense fear starting to swell up within me. Watchfully, I allowed the fear to grow—to impose itself upon my being. Remaining extremely alert, firm and fearless, I saw that within milliseconds I would be overtaken and once again I would become fears subject. I wisely decided to end this test—to stop feeding this self imposed fear… Stop “feeding” this fear!

Instantly the fear died and spontaneously I found myself slipping beyond the king of beasts and entering the warehouse.

The interior was long and spacious, like a great hall. For a moment, I felt alone. But then I notice a man approaching from a great distance. As he came forward, I could find nothing overtly special about him. His walk was loose and relaxed and finding myself perfectly at ease, I started walking towards him. As the gap between us diminished, I could make out his facial features and still I found nothing out of the ordinary.

Then spontaneously I hollered, “Shiva” and ran up and threw my arms around him. We hugged in a deep caress for a few moments, and then we walked off together, each with an arm around the other.

Shiva was a little shorter than I and totally within my embrace. He was warmly smiling up at me as I excitedly grinned down at him. We were good old buddies and it had been a long time.

Shiva then broke his smile and becoming thoughtfully serious, he softy spoke, saying… “Your name is now Hada”…

And I awoke!

Shiva

Go to 5th dream.

I had passed the lion! I had the fourth dream. The dream I knew must surely come.

I had received the dream of fulfillment and yet, as sweet as it was, like all fulfillment it lasts but a moment… but as always, true fulfillment never let one down. It always brings a gift that is beyond all expectation.

This time fulfillment had sent a messenger, the primordial source of my total potential. Through the grace of Lord Shiva, I had been named anew.

But what did this all mean?

“A dream is also an omen, for so it is known
  from the Upanishads, and the experts say so.” 

  Brahma-Sutra-Rhasya of Shankaracarya, 3.2.3

Actually, I must admit, at first I did not give the name that I had received from Lord Shiva much serious thought… although I was defiantly curious as to what Hada Might mean. (Hada pronounced hādā— the ā like the ā in fāther) Since I had received the name from Shiva, I assumed it was spoken in Sanskrit—the ancient Indic language of the Veda.

Hada (Hādā) in davanagari,
the script of the Veda.

I knew a teacher of Sanskrit who also meditated in the domes at MIU (Maharishi International University). So for the next couple of days, I casually looked for him… However, at this particular time, I was strongly focused on completing the written account of the destruction of “My First car”—which was aptly named “The last Performance of the Late Don Potts”—that everything else took a back seat and I actually forgot all about the dream and the beautiful fact that I had been given the name Hada.

Then late one afternoon, a couple of weeks later, just after re-reading the final draft of “The last Performance of the Late Don Potts”—which fully enlivened all memories and emotions of the event within me—I suddenly realized I was still using the name of the “late” Don Potts. The obvious had never occurred to me until that very moment.

Indeed, I must have a new name!

Fifteen minutes later, as I entered “The Maharishi Patanjali Golden Dome of Pure Knowledge” for my evening meditation, I ran into my Sanskrit speaking friend. Immediately upon seeing him I remembered  the dream and before I could ask him about the name Hada, I came to the realization that I had been given the fulfillment of my desire to have a new name even before I  desired it—that is, at least before the “i” had consciously desired it.

I now felt the given name Hada might possibly be very significant!

I had always felt that the, often misunderstood, destruction of “My First Car” was much more then just a clever action. I knew that I had truly taken charge of the course of my life and dramatically plunged myself into the beginning stages of Sage hood.

Now… Secretly… I hoped that Lord Shiva, by naming me anew, was demonstrating his own personal involvement… not only in my unprecedented move—the destruction of “My First Car”—but by naming me anew, he may have given me a powerful boon—a name/form—a primordial sound in the form of my own name, which would directly facilitate the unfoldment of the artistic expression of my new developing awareness—“Heaven’s Stepping Stones.”

To make a long story short, my learned friend knew of no name or word in Sanskrit, spoken of as Hada, but felt that Hada could very well be a composite of the two syllables, “hā” and “dā”. With input from him and a professor of Sanskrit from Cambridge University, they concluded that “hā” meant “abandonment and “dā” meant to bestow. Hada could then mean “Bestowing abandonment”.

At this point I felt I better get grounded in a good Sanskrit Dictionary. The “Sir Monier-Williams, Sanskrit-English Dictionary gave me the following definitions which substantiated the Sanskrit scholors conclusions:

“hā”

To leave, abandon, desert, forsake, relinquish; to discharge, emit, ib; to put away, take off, remove, lay aside, give up, renounce, resign, avoid, shun, abstain or refrain from; to disregard, neglect; to lose, deprive; to get rid of, escape from; to become attracted from, to cause to leave or abandon etc.

“dā”

To give, to bestow, grant, yield, impart, present, offer to.

I then found I could also break the name down to “h” and “ādā.” Looking again into the Sanskrit-English Dictionary I found a definition for “ādā” which when linked to a definition of “h”. (“h” alone, without a long “ā” following it) gives another compelling flavor to the meaning of the name Hada.

“h”

The Supreme Spirit; meditation, auspiciousness; heaven, sky, paradise; knowledge; pleasure, delight; cause, motive; to choose (a path); a form of Shiva named Bhairava.

“ādā”

To give to one’s self, take, accept, receive from; to be about to take to one’s self; to take back, reclaim, to seize, grasp, take or catch hold of; to be on the point of taking (the hand of)

Everything about this name Hada seems to be interwoven with all that I have dared think, desire and believe in.

One benefic power that I, as an artist, have always been aware of was the ability to destroy what the mistakes of my fearful intellect has consciously or unconsciously created. I am now offering to Humanity, through the conceptual work of art “Heaven's Stepping Stones,” this same opportunity. Before Heaven descends upon this Earth, Humanity will have to go beyond the lion. To do that, we will have to abandon and give way—to literally relinquish the obstacles and distractions that have created fear in our collective mind.

On the other hand, Humanity need only to become aware of the motive behind the cause of it all and simply reach out and grasp the hand of... Heaven, who is, at this very moment, reaching down and taking unto itself that which has become its own.

At one point in the process of gathering the above information, I started to question if I had remembered the pronunciation of Hada correctly. Obviously, this was vital to what I was uncovering.

Then again, one night...

 

The 5th Dream...

I found myself watching myself in a dream. It was as if my consciousness was in the position of a camera, which was slightly above, and to the side of a vision of myself coming through its lens. I, the image, was working on something very intricate and being intensely involved in the work appeared to be oblivious to its surroundings

I witnessed my self perform this way for quite sometime. Then suddenly, the Image of myself turned and looking straight into the lens of I, the dreamer, said in a casual but matter of fact way, "It's Hada,” then returned to its world without any apparent break in concentration.

I awoke and quickly quenched all doubts.

Go to 6th dream.

By now there was no question that Don Potts was of the past and Hada was of now—but what about my wife Suzanne., We are one and a change in my name would definitely have to be reflected in hers. I thought of the eight hundred and twenty first name of Mother Divine—Brahmani—as presented in the Vedic text: The Lalita Sahasranama.

“Ani” means to give life. The Devi Purana says, "She is called Brahmani because she creates or gives life to Brahma.” (The Creator—masculine)

Suzanne's attitude toward marriage has always been to support her man regardless of how bazaar his actions may appear. She and I both realize that she has the subtle power of Shakti and the quality of her attention towards my work has the power to make or break it. When her attention wanders, I feel as though a rug has been pulled out from underneath me and I fall. When her attention is focused, she becomes the wind under my wings and I fly.

The root of “ani” is “ana”— breath. We renamed my wife “Hadani”—The breath of Hada.

Hada & Hadani

Represent a circular flow of giving; each life is lived to give life to the other.

Hada—“h”, “ādā”

He who takes hold of the hand of God—The Supreme Spirit.

Hadani

She, the “power” in their grip.

On August 17, 1990, at 11:50 am in Fairfield Iowa, the Judge of the Iowa District Court for Jefferson County signed a decree pronouncing that Hada and Hadani shall have all the legal rights and privileges to use and bear these names in all matters fully and without reservation.

My heart's first desire was to present “Heaven's Stepping Stones” to His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi because I strongly felt it qualified for the power inherent in his blessing and I ultimately received the blessings of Lord Shiva himself, the primordial Shri Maharishi the great ancestor of all.

By naming me anew, Lord Shiva has acknowledged and given credence to the desires I have placed forth in the conceptual work “Heaven's Stepping Stones.” My desire could be summed up simply as the total caress by Humanity of the underlying SINGULARITY OF ENERGY AND PRINCIPAL that we and even LORD SHIVA require for our existence—which will directly lead to a truly perceivable presence of HEAVEN ON EARTH.

Months latter... I dreamt again of the lion.

It is said of Bhairavi, (Shakti of Bhairava)

"Your lotus hands show the gestures of victory, of wisdom, the granting of boons and the allaying of fear. "

Tripura—Bhairavi Tantra

 

The 6th Dream...

I found myself walking through a small lush valley of tall green grass bordered by many handsome oaks. I was having a wonderful time... just meandering along with my two young sons… even though there was somewhat of a faint ominous feeling in the air.

The scene soon changed and I found myself, in a motel room, playfully wrestling with my boys on a couch that sat to front of a television set. Every so often, I found that instead of wrestling with my boys I was wrestling with a large cuddly lion.

Then a "news flash' came over the TV… something very dangerous was apparently roaming the streets.

It was all very abstract—it was as if a criminal had escaped from prison or a wild beast had escaped from the circus or zoo and we were all being warned to lock our houses and stay inside until the danger passed.

I got up to check the front door, when something else caught my attention on the TV.

Two little boys dressed in bathing suits, just about the same age as my sons, were standing in a little rowboat talking into the TV camera. The older boy was trying to explain about some miracle that had just happened.

As he did his best to remain serious and express, in little boy terms, what had just taken place, the younger boy kept reaching up and flapping two little wooden angelwings that were strapped to his back. With a lot of giggling, rocking of the boat and repeating himself over and over, the boy finally got out that he had fallen overboard and could not get back to the boat. He was gasping for air and was about to drown, when something like a huge hand had come up from the bottom of the lake and gently lifting him out of the water, had placed him back into the boat.

The whole scene was beautifully recorded and quite humorous, but I was left feeling a little confused and somewhat uneasy… I felt that this little episode was presented just for me.

I then turned from the TV to secure the front door and…

What?

It had been opened!

My boys were gone!

I awoke... but could not abandon the dream.

I was still in a very subtle state, not fully awake, but also not at all dreaming. I was more in a gap somewhere between waking and dreaming. I was very aware of the bed I was in, Hadani sleeping next to me, etc. I even knew it was almost time to get up, but I continued to wrestling with the dream. I keep trying to reenter the dream and find my boys.

This went on for a time... and then resistance finally gave in. Remaining awake, I became a silent witness as my mind automatically unfolded the rest of the dream.

I entered the street and immediately started searching for the enemy. Quickly l found myself standing before It. It was found to be neither man nor beast. It appeared to exist at a stage that I could best describe as an abstract notion. Although it certainly did have being, this “being” had not yet manifested itself into anything specific or recognizable.

As I moved in closer, into a more challenging position, I started to sense the presence of a lion

My immediate assumption was that the lion would soon enter the enemy, and again I would be face to face with impending fear...

But instead of entering the enemy...

THE LION ENTERED ME!

I began to expand. I became awesome. Not hostel, angry or vindictive just overwhelmingly awe-some. My leading edge, which would have normally been my hands, became a fastmoving array of sharp, abstract diagonals.

THE LION WAS NOW MY ALLY!

The enemy then simply dissolved before me and became nothing...

I did not awake—I had never gone back to sleep. I just lay there in silent amazement

WE HAD MERGED AS ONE!

In the dream, the little boy with wooden wings was full of wonder. A conscious presence, originating from a place quite unconceivable, had manifested itself just for the sole purpose of saving his life.

Much later in the dream, my boys were also saved by an unconceivable presents (me) who's origin was also unprecedented.

When I consciously reentered the dream from the outrageous origin—the waking state—I had definitely reentered, but never left conscious awakeness. Instead, I actually extended myself by superimposing myself into or onto this other state.

Did I the dreamer wrestle my way back into the dream or was It “the me” whom I dreamed who had wrestled a miracle out of its maker? Is there a difference between I the dreamer and I the dreamed? And what about my maker, was it not He that had wrestled Himself into my dream through me, to present to me the name Hada? Are they not all—He, I, and me—the same? I know that when I dream, the dream is within me, and being such, is all me. Am I not within He who has created me as His dream? In conceiving the piece “Heaven’s Stepping Stones” am l not trying to wrestle the Creator, my maker, onto this plain of existence that is within Him? Or is it He, who is consciously super-imposing His presence upon our reality, through his own motivation, making my thoughts and conceptions just a mere reflection of his intended desire?

In the dream when I went beyond the lion—went beyond my own fears and received the name Hada—it gave to me, the dreamer, great delight! What has happened in the experience of my maker, The Creator, as a result of the conception of “Heaven's Stepping Stones” within His dream? I can only imagine that He anxiously anticipates the unfoldment of His next dream. The dream in which the whole of Humanity will wrestle him into superimposing His presence upon this Earth, as the single, interwoven fabric of unity— of dream, dreamer, and the dreamed.

I have this sweet dream...

Heaven aroused by the conceptual piece, “Heaven's Stepping Stones,” takes notice of our actions here upon the earth and agrees to descend and accept the gift we are offering

Moving down through our well placed corridor of timelessness, He stretches one foot forward and firmly places it upon the larger island.. The earth gracefully takes the load. Then gently, placing His other foot upon the smaller island to create balance, He leans over, parts the clouds, and plucks the Golden Discus Ring from the twisting conical shaft. Placing the ring upon the first finger of his right hand, He stands erect, taking on the posture of unmistakable power and immensity. Then as He points His finger toward the Heavens, the ring begins to glow, radiating an intense golden light that fully surrounds the entire globe.

Our dear Heaves inspired by our selfless gift to Him, will have bestowed upon us, His children, a golden age.

From the Heaven’s, Our Mother, the Earth, will look as though it went through a magnificent metamorphosis. She will now appear as a brilliant jewel radiating a rich golden glow throughout the timelessness of the infinite galaxies ultimately reaching and enlightening the endless nature of the cosmos itself.

One day, I will witness this miracle...

Just as the little boy in the boat witness Bhairavi's beautiful lotus hand rise up from the bottom of a lake, allaying his fears and granting him the boon of life, and I , miraculously passing through the film which divides the waking and the dreaming, bestowed upon my two children wisdom in the form of a vision of unity as fear became my ally and manifest within me as personal power removing the notion of an enemy… Heaven will surly extend the limits of my perception and fully reveal Himself to me as He steps down and takes onto himself that which has become his own—which is “I”—the gift, that "I am” preparing.

On a cool late August evening some months later...

Hadani, two close friends and I sat by a small fire watching a fresh Shiva moon slowly set in a deep blue sky. The occasion marked the first anniversary of our name change. Hadani had just finished reading us the latest draft of this account "Named Anew" and subtle thoughts of a singular reality of dream, dreamer and dreamed danced like hot licks from tiny flames warming the cool silence of my mind...

Then after a few long moments had passed, I was presented with a most wonderful gift. A book entitled "The Shiva Sutras—The Yoga of Supreme identity."

For many years this book has sat in an honored spot along side of my bed. Upon awakening in the middle of night, I’d often place my hand upon its cover.

The Shiva Sutras are generally known as a compendium containing the secret doctrine revealed by Shiva to Vasugupta.

 There are three theories regarding the revelation of the Sutras. The first says that Shiva taught His Sutras to Vasugupta in a dream when he was living on Mahadeva mountain. The second says that they were revealed to Vasugupta in a dream by a Slddha—a perfected semi-divine being. The third says that Shlva appeared to Vasugupta in a dream and said, "Upon Mahadeva Mountain, the secret doctrines are inscribed on a piece of stone. Collect the doctrines from there, teach them to those who deserve grace:" Upon awakening, Vasugupta went to the place and by mere touch a particular stone was exposed and he found the Shiva Sutras inscribed upon it.

What I find most enchanting, is that Shiva used "the dream" as the initial or primary means of Vasugupta’s revelation. And now, almost two thousand years later, Shiva uses Vasugupta’s revelation to complete my understanding of the revelation Shiva presented to me, in my dream, by naming me anew.

I will give you the fifth thru seventh Sutras in the Sambhavopaya section.

 

Some Pertinent Sutras

Sambavaupaya or emergence of Bhairava or transcendental consciousness shatters the shackles of ignorance and sets the individual free.

When Bhairava consciousness arises, the entire universe appears as an expression of Shiva`s Shakti (Bhairavi) and when the mind of the aspirant is united with that Shaktl with intensive awareness, the world as something separate from consciousness disappears.

When through the grace there is the emergence of Bhairava consciousness and through Shakti-Sandhama, it is reinforced, then the rapturous delight of the fourth or transcendental consciousness becomes a constant feature even of the three states of waking dream and profound sleep. It is not only in meditation but also In the usual, normal course of life that one experiences the delight of the transcendental consciousness.

Now the next Sutra teaches that the quintessence of the means for the cessation of the bondage brought about by the limited knowledge consists in resting in Bhairara consciousness.

 

Udyama Bhairavah

That is udyama which is an emergence of an awareness in the form of the highest pratibha (Pratlbha is a technical term meaning Paravaka, the absolutely free creative divine consciousness) which is a sudden springing up (ie. which is a sudden flash) of that I-consciousness of Shiva which expands in the form of the entire universe. That udjama in itself is Bhairava in as much as Bhairava holds within Himself the entire universe by reducing all the Shakis to sameness within Himself and in as much as He completely devours within Himself the entire mass of ideation (which is responsible for sense of difference) That udyama may in itself be called Bhairava in as much as it is the means for revealing Bhairava who is one s own essential Self. That udyama appears in those who are devoted to Him because of their whole attention being concentrated on that inner Bhairava principle. That is what has been taught in this Sutra.

It has also been said in the Malinivijaya Tantra: “Absorption of the individual consciousness in the divine imparted by the guru in one who has freed his mind of all ideation” ( ie. by one’s own great awakening.)

“h”

A form of Shiva named Bhairava.

“ādā”

To give to one’s self... Udyama.

Hada—“h”, “ādā”

Udyama Bhairava

Hadani

Shiva’s shakti—Bhairavi

Hada & Hadani

Bhairava & Bhairavi

I am sure you cannot imagine how I must feel after receiving such a name. In a sense, I can't imagine how it feels either. Sometimes, I'm ecstatic with awe. Yet, at other times, all Hada's awesome implications feel absolutely commonplace.

I had made a personal decision many years ago—that the man must die—and in doing such, I knew I had entered into the realm of Sage hood. It makes absolute sense, at this crook in the road, that I should have received a new name. But to receive verification from Shiva Himself was beyond my wildest imagination and in a sense, a small part of me still could not swallow it—after all, it was only a dream…

So it stood to reason, that if I was Hada with all the implications the name presented, the aspect of me that I was reclaiming, or to put it more precisely—the Self I truly was, who fully supported my desire to awake, would certainly not rest until there is no shadow of doubt within my conscious awareness as to the truth of my true identity.

I was soon to receive another blessing...

I have a good friend who spends much time in India collecting Vedic Art by living artists. A couple of weeks later, I dropped by his gallery just after he had returned from India with a suitcase full of paintings. Immediately he dropped what he was doing, opened up his suitcase, and eagerly began unwrapping his new found treasures. His presentation was swift and I, strongly influenced by his enthusiasm, rushed from painting to painting without much focus or I should say, without much visual intelligence.

About a third of the way through the pile, one painting did catch my superficial eye. The subject matter was of Shiva walking across a barren landscape toward Ganesh who was riding toward him upon a bull. There was nothing flashy about the work. In fact, even though it was painted with authority, it appeared somewhat primitive or even slightly awkward. Shiva’s legs were rather thick which made him look more Human than Divine and neither Shiva or Ganesh seamed planted upon the ground. They seamed to be super imposed upon the space rather than actually existing within the space. I quickly dismissed the work and returned to the ongoing presentation...

Yet after a short time, I found myself going back to the stack and digging out the awkward painting.

In a smiling voice, my friend said,

 "I knew you'd like it... Would you like to hear its story?"

"Sure;" I said. "but its to bad Shiva’s so clumsily painted."

"That’s not Shiva” he replied. "That's a Rishi.”

"See... there's a staff in his hand and he's carrying a water pot. But the dead giveaway is that he's wearing a beard. Shiva never wears a beard.

"He's a Rishi who has become Shiva or taken on the consciousness Shiva… and since Genesh, also known as Ganapati, the Lord of Shiva's Ganas (band or gang)—all the Ganas are being brought to him on Shiva’s bull."

My first reaction was, "How could I have missed all of that. Was I that dense?... Then I woke up... and it hit me.

       “Udyamao Bhairavah”

‘By his own great awakening,’ this Rishi has just become one with Shiva. He has just taken on to Himself ‘that which has become his own’—ME!  And all that is already his own is being presented to the Rishi as symbolized in the form of Genesh!

"I'm looking at my name!" I exclaimed in awe...

After a few moments of thrilling silence, my friend said,

 "You know... that painting is anonymous."

"What do you mean by this painting is anonymous?" I asked.

He continued, "I don't know who did the painting.”

"I found it hanging in a private collection. I immediately was drawn to it and wanted to bring it back with me. The owner said the artist who had done the painting, wished to remain anonymous; that he did not do art for money or recognition, and before he would consider letting me have it, he would have to, first, ask the artist if I could have it. A day or so later, I was told the artist would let me have this one painting, but I'll probably never get another."

After he finished his story, I was left with a distinct feeling. The same feeling I had when the junkman certified the completion of my manhood and suddenly left anonymously, just before “My First Car” was crushed; and the same feeling I had when this fellow walked up to me in a dream and named me anew and suddenly left anonymously upon my awakening. In the dream, if I had not inadvertently hollered out his name I may have never known who he was.

I looked up at my friend and spoke in a strong tone, "I've got to have this painting."

With a big grin, he repeated, "I knew you'd like it," and then he said, "give me a moment I need to check with my partner, but I'm sure you can have it"

A short time later he gave me the painting for the price he had paid for it.

As I was leaving the gallery, he mentioned, "you've got to promise that you will frame it properly and take good care of it or the Diety evoked by the painting will leave.

"I promised.

On the way home, quickly driving toward Hadani, I suddenly realized that I was the Deity of the painting and for many years... lifetimes... and even millenniums, I too was anonymous; even to myself... and for a short time, I suppose, I'll still remain anonymous to most others; but I'm very happy to say, very few are anonymous to me.

As it says, in Shri Jaideva Singh summary of Shiva's seventh Sutra..

"When through the grace there Is the emergence of Bhairava consciousness and through Shakti-Sandhama, it is reinforced then, the rapturous delight of the fourth or transcendental consciousness becomes a constant feature even of the three states of waking, dream and profound sleep. It is not only in meditation but also .in the usual, normal course of life that one experiences the delight of the transcendental consciousness."

I do believe that this so called 'normal course of life’ is in reality Shiva’s dream. There is a singularity to existence and all that are namable are merely aspects of that singularity.

Upon awaking from a dream, the dreamer who remembers his dream quickly becomes aware that the dreamed reality, which appeared so real at the time, actually took place when he himself was asleep to his true identity.

This—'rapturous delight of the fourth or transcendental consciousness' which becomes a constant feature even of the three states of waking, dream and profound sleep—belongs to who? Me... a mere diversified aspect of a singular existence or does it belong to my true identity—Singularity its Self?

Did I the dreamer wrestle my way back Into the dream or was it the me whom I dreamed who had wrestled a miracle out of its maker? Is there a difference between I the dreamer and me the dreamed? And what about my maker, was It not He that had wrestled Himself into my dream through me to present to me the name hada? Are they not all—He, I, and me—the .same? I know that when I dream, the dream is within me and being such is all me. Am I not within He who has created me as His dream? In conceiving the piece “Heaven's Stepping Stones,” am I not trying to wrestle The Creator, my maker, onto this plain of existence that is within Him? Or is it He, who is consciously super imposing His presence upon our reality, through his own motivation making my thoughts and conceptions just a mere reflection of His Intended desire?

Obviously this `rapturous delight' belongs to a true identity of which this me, this salient being, is nothing more than a outrageous projection; an individual personified awareness, projected into a time and space reality, given freewill and all the time in the world to expand that awareness to and beyond the inner and outer limits of the projection and ultimately unify with the pure awareness which lies at its source.

Yes, I will own this 'rapturous delight' for
I am Hada.

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